Usnea is a lichen; a combination of an algae and a fungus growing together. Also known as Old Man's beard, it grows in little hair-like tufts, with the green algae covering the white string like fungus. Its relationship with the trees it grows around reveals an important aspect of its medicine: one of communion, protection & communication.
Traditionally known as an immune system tonic it can be used in acute situations as well as for long term immune enhancement and general prevention. It has none to little side effects.
Usnea can be used along with or instead of Echinacea. And is more specific for strep and staph infections than Echinacea. Keep in mind that its antibiotic properties are most specific to the respiratory and urinary systems.
Use it to help heal respiratory and sinus infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, strep throat, colds, flues, as well as urinary tract, kidney, and bladder infections.
Depending on availability I use Ramalina menziesii, the lace lichen.
Single herb preparations are a great way to get to know a plant. For this reason I recommend that you start taking it slowly, always paying attention to what your body tells you.
It can be combined with our Redwood Tip Elixir for stronger tonic medicine.
I gather, clean / process and prepare the Usnea myself with respect and devotion for this incredible being.